Forester Chainsaw Protection
Safety is a major pillar in the forestry industry. Together with Jeadon Enterprises, we set out to develop a whole new internal structure for their garments, capable of quickly stopping a chainsaw to prevent injury.
Jaedon Enterprises are the leader in forestry protection and safety clothing in New Zealand and Australia. Managing Director Mike May wanted to build on their leadership by developing the next generation in chainsaw protection.
With funding from the Transform Initiative, the project set out to create a new range of advanced, lightweight, cut-resistant fabrics and chainsaw protection that enhance both user safety and performance. The new range would make waves in the major international forestry markets and ultimately generate more sales.
FIBERS AND CONSTRUCTION
We started out with the development of a primary material by looking at the scientific make-up of materials and fibres. We also looked at the engineering behind different technical garments’ construction. We completed the exercise by benchmarking our findings against existing products on the market to understand the performance landscape and product positioning. All this research led to a yarn and construction assessment, which defined the best material composition.
During the concept development phase, we tested over 359 types of layers with 102 drop tests, resulting in a large library of alternative compositions for future use. We landed on a six-layer garment construction, which optimises the wearer’s comfort without compromising the protection required. A critical insight was that the outer-most layer plays a crucial role in stalling the chainsaw, whereas industry knowledge had suggested it did not play a role.
The final product was a range of trousers and chaps that contain a polypropylene scrimmage, designed to reduce the risk or severity of an injury and give chainsaw operators extra reaction time. The cut-resistant material is designed to pull apart and clog the sprocket system of the chainsaw to slow or stop the chain completely.
COMPLETING THE EXPERIENCE
The new product line required a brand identity that would embody its innovative and protective nature. We developed a full brand platform that included a logo, packaging, and swing tags, as well as the incorporation of the brand down to the garment details.
The ‘Forester’ brand was redeveloped and complemented with additional marketing collateral for support of the product launch. The new range of trousers and chaps entered the RD1 retail chain nationwide and has been picked up by both Husqvarna and other global brands.
“Forest Armour: designing the future of forestry protection.”
Blythe Rees Jones